Joint Offer Made for Citibank’s Japanese Credit Card Business
Three potential buyers have emerged to take over Citigroup’s credit card business in Japan. Citi currently offers Diner’s Club credit cards in Japan but plans to exit the consumer banking industry in the country due to a low demand for loans and decreasing interest margins.
According to the Nikkei, the joint bid for the Japanese credit card sector came from department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd, Shinsei Bank Ltd, and credit card service provider JCB Co Ltd. Shinsei is expected to be the primary contributor, with Isetan providing department store services and JCB working with account settlements.
At this time, the companies have not determined what they want to pay for the credit card business, but the Nikkei reports the sales price is expected to be 30 billion to 50 billion yen ($247.18 million to $411.90 million USD).
The consumer banking unit for Citi in Japan currently has an estimated $9 billion in dollar-denominated deposits according to Reuters, making it a potentially lucrative account for interested Japanese banks.
Citi has operated in Japan for over 100 years, making the move rather extraordinary. The bank is doing this as part of a plan to remove itself from 11 markets in the coming years.